Bird list & other natural events, June 2013

This June was a generally pleasant month, with stable seasonal temperatures and a reasonable hot spell toward the end. It’s been quite dry, with only 1.89″ of rain recorded on the farm, compared to a monthly average for Columbia of 4.47″. Even that total is misleading, since much of that rain came in light, isolated showers, which didn’t really soak in before the intense sun burned it off. Only twice did we receive more than 0.25″ at a time. This dryness has been good in the short term, counteracting the cold wet spring, but it feels like an approaching tipping point. If it stays this dry here, we’ll start entering drought concerns again. With some reasonable rain soon, we could be primed for a nice summer. While crop pests haven’t been a major problem, lots of human pests like ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, and more have been a constant source of frustration. Read on for a photo essay of interesting wildlife and the monthly bird list.

june_natural_1The upper orchard, where we haven’t planted fruit trees yet, has grown up with a wonderful lush mix of diverse plants (& virtually no fescue). We really love the way this area is developing. june_natural_2A baby Western Painted Turtle found exploring one of our field roads. june_natural_3Two interesting mushrooms. Not sure what the one on the left is, but we think the one on the right is a Jellied False Coral. june_natural_4Beetles. We think the one on the left is a Six-Spotted Green Tiger Beetle, observed in a dry stream bed in the woods. Right: Pair of mating Soldier Beetles; these tend to hang out on goldenrod when it blooms later in the year, but they are on yarrow in this photo.
june_natural_5Left: Caterpillar of the White-Lined Sphinx. Right: Adult White-Lined Sphinx Moth.june_natural_6Predators: Left: An unidentified spider preying on an unidentified beetle on an identified plant: heal-all. A baby Praying Mantis; we’ve seen quite a number of these this year. So cute!june_natural_7This is the season for young birds. The baby Eastern Phoebes above left weren’t quite sure about leaving the nest yet when this photo was taken near the beginning of the month. The hen Wild Turkey above right was patrolling near the barn, looking for one of her chicks which turned out to have gotten itself into an old chicken pen (inset). We freed it and reunited the clan. On to the bird list:

RECORDED IN JUNE (51 species, 4 new relative to May, 28 unobserved since May). Interestingly, this is 11 more species than June 2012, which may simply reflect the more pleasant weather this year.

Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Turkey Vulture
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Broad-Winged Hawk (Observed carrying prey in the direction of a suspected nest near the end of the month.)
Wild Turkey
Mourning Dove
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Common Nighthawk
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe (Successful nest on the house; young fledged on June 5.)
Great-Crested Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
White-Eyed Vireo
Red-Eyed Vireo
Blue-Headed Vireo
Yellow-Throated Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Black-Capped Chickadee
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Wood Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
Grey Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Parula
Tennessee Warbler
Blue-Winged Warbler
Golden-Winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Orange-Crowned Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Worm-Eating Warbler
American Redstart
Louisiana Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Towhee
Lark Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
White-Throated Sparrow
Eastern Kingbird
Brown-Headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Red-Winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch
Chimney Swift (first ever recorded on farm)
Northern Mockingbird (first ever recorded on farm)

3 thoughts on “Bird list & other natural events, June 2013

  1. The mushroom on the left is definitely some sort of Amanita. Since it’s so early in the year, I’m guessing it’s not an A. Muscaria, which typically doesn’t come up until later in the summer. I would guess it’s an A. flavoconia (, which according to Wikipedia is commonly known as yellow patches, yellow wart, orange Amanita, or yellow-dust Amanita. The edibility is listed as unknown, but I generally make a point of never eating Amanitas. There are too many deadly poisonous species in that genus (and too many other good eatin’ mushrooms outside of it) for me to risk it.

  2. Fantastic, thank you Ezra! And thanks to Pam for making the connection, too.